Arnon The Arab Counter And The Animals Of Gaza

Sometimes you hear people involved in the I/P conflict complain of the other side: “They don’t want peace”. I think that’s a silly thing to say, because everybody wants peace – who wouldn’t? It’s just that some people want other things a little bit more. “Of course everyone wants peace, but every bugger wants it on his own terms”, as Admiral Sir Jackie Fisher once put it.

In Israel too, everybody wants peace, but the one thing that some people want just a little more than peace is land. Somebody else’s land. Israelis already have a land, theoretically in the legal boundaries of 1947, but in terms of international consensus, actually within the expanded boundaries of 1967. But some Israelis would like to keep all, or at least the most valuable parts, of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967. None of this land belongs to Israel, the vast majority (excluding Jerusalem which was to be an international city) was assigned by the UN to Arab Palestine, and Israel’s ongoing attempt to colonize it ensures there will never be self-determination for the Palestinians, acceptance of Israel within the region, or peace for either of them (or for us). In its simplest form, the impasse in Arab-Israeli relations since Camp David I comes down to this: “The Arabs wanted their land back and then they wanted peace with Israel. The Israelis wanted peace but wanted to keep some of the Arab land.” (Fisk).

This is also the key to why, after 15 years of “peace process”, there is no peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Because, in a conflict over land, Israel used the process not to get out of the occupied territory, but rather to colonize more and more of it. For successive Israeli governments, the peace process simply meant the establishment of a Palestinian “authority” that would stop resistance to Israeli expansion while that expansion continued, and actually accelerated. The PA would be Israel’s security sub-contractor in the Occupied Territories, as Benjamin Netanyahu put it.

Israel’s governments treated the PA with such contempt because Israel enjoys overwhelming military superiority. Judging by Ehud Olmert’s proposed “convergence” of West Bank settlers into the major settlement blocs, the incoming government too believes that this military superiority will allow it to keep control of Palestinian land and have, if not exactly peace, then at least a manageable low-intensity conflict that can be fought mostly out of sight in the Occupied Territories. To successive Israeli governments, managing an endless, low-intensity conflict has been preferable to resolving the conflict by agreement with the Palestinians, because this would involve finally giving up the Occupied Territories.

Meet Arnon Soffer.

Read more…

Ref: lawrenceofcyberia

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